Press Release
May 9, 2012

Ex-Sec Balmaceda's role in establishing ADB, choosing PHL its HQ, cited

In view of his invaluable role in the establishment of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in the Philippines, a Senate Resolution recognizing the late Commerce and Industry Secretary Cornelio Balmaceda has been filed in the Senate on Tuesday.

Senate Resolution No. 765 filed by Senator Franklin M. Drilon highlights the efforts exerted by Balmaceda to secure that the Philippines would be chosen as the permanent site for the ADB.

"We recognize former Secretary Balmaceda for his selfless and able representation of the Philippines in several important capacities leading to the establishment of the Asian Development Bank as well as his invaluable role in the location of the ADB headquarters in the Philippines," said Drilon.

Recently, the Philippines successfully hosted the 45th Annual Board of Governors Meeting which allowed the Philippine government to showcase the Aquino administration's good governance reforms, improvements in its credit rating, its international lauded social welfare programs and the much reinvigorated investment climate in the Philippines, noted Drilon.

"Vested with the honor of hosting the ADB on their own soil, the Filipino people owe a debt of gratitude to former Secretary Balmaceda for his nationalistic efforts and impeccable diplomatic poise at that time," said Drilon.

"More so, the Philippines owes a more profound debt to the former secretary for his services afterwards including, but not limited to, his functions as special adviser to the President on ADB affairs, chairman of the 14-nation committee on preparatory arrangements for the establishment of the ADB and the Philippines' first alternate director of the ADB," added Drilon.

In 1965, during the 31st Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East session, a nine-nation consultative committee tasked to assist in the formulation of measures for the establishment of an Asian regional bank that is known today as the ADB was formed. Former Secretary Balmaceda had been chosen as representative of the Philippines to the nine-nation committee, which in turn elected him its chairperson, the resolution says.

As chairperson of the committee, Balmaceda maintained and actively lobbied for the location of any such regional bank in developing country that will not only be conducive to the smooth and successful operation of the bank and the attainment of its objectives, but also provide this new institution with an environment that will stimulate its understanding of the problems and dreams of its member nations as well as an effective vantage point from which to address the same problems and dreams, the resolution states.

The Philippines, led by Balmaceda, campaigned among Asian nations to have Manila chosen as the headquarters of any such regional bank. The efforts of the former secretary paid off when, on December 2, 1965, eight countries namely China, Vietnam, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand chose Manila over Tokyo as the permanent site of the ADB.

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